The first round of auditions will focus only on singing ability and should be pretty short and sweet. You sign up for an audition slot, sing the song of your choosing, chat a little with Alan and myself about vocal range and such, and then you’re on your way after about five minutes. We really do have a lot of people to see and this seems to both expedite the process and to keep you from sitting around for long stretches of time waiting to be seen. The main focus in this first round is to just relax, be yourself, and let us hear you sing. We’ll do everything we can to make it a pleasant and painless experience.
After this first round of auditions we’ll have a callback for all the principal roles only. This will include singing in groups so Alan can hear vocal blending and will also include an acting audition — usually involving reading from the script. Here we’ll be looking at how different actors work together, as well as for performance quality and communication of both story and character. Our focus will be on creating an ensemble; finding the best combination of voices and personalities; and finding the folks who can best help us tell this story through words and music. This will be a group callback, so be prepared to sing and perform in front of your fellow auditionees. Again, the key is to relax, be yourself, and to let us see how you might fit into this performance equation.
Complete audition information can be found at http://www.durhamsavoyards.org (or click on the Durham Savoyards’ link in the left column).
A note on the production concept… I’m planning to focus on the ideas of disguise and revelation– not only disguising oneself, but also disguising the truth. The idea that seeing is not necessarily believing and (with alchemy one of the subjects at hand) the idea that all that glitters isn’t gold. And possibly things that don’t glitter can be of great value.
I find it interesting that our play is set at the beginning of the English Renaissance. When magic was giving way to science, Shakespeare was about to help usher in our modern ideas of theater, New Worlds were being discovered, and cultures were beginning to interconnect.
To play up the idea of magic versus science, our townfolk will be more Puritan in appearance than what one might normally think of as Tudor England. I also plan to take a close look at Fairfax (and everyone else for that matter) to discern when he is lying and when he is indeed telling the truth. I’m guessing that he lies much more than you might think (fool me once…) and that Dame Caruthers may be the only truthful one in the bunch (until the bitter end that is).
Another set of extremes can be found in the very Medieval Shadbolt (dull and backward but dependably predictable) versus Renaissance man Fairfax (enlightened and exciting but devilishly unpredictable). I’ll be looking for ways to foreshadow Shakespeare’s arrival on the scene. And our resident thespians, Jack Point and Elsie, may be a bit more based on Italian Commedia than on Medieval Jester.